GUISBOROUGH Town prised a precious point from their relegation battle at Whickham on Saturday when they came away with a hard-fought 0-0 draw. A share of the points was just about what each side deserved in a game spoiled by strong winds and a biting cold and rainy afternoon on Tyneside. The point lifted the Priorymen up a place fifth from bottom and with a much better goal difference on all of the teams around them they are now within touching distance of assuring their place in Division One for next season.

The game itself lacked real quality from both teams in front of goal - but to be fair to them the bad weather proved the winner, particularly the strong winds towards the goal in front of the Whickham stand which carried even moderately-struck through balls way over the dead ball line.

Playing with the wind behind them in the first half, Guisborough enjoyed the lion’s share of the play and on 10 minutes striker Anthony Hume got into a great position in the Whickham penalty area but he delayed his shot fractionally and saw his hurried effort go just over the bar.

Then after 37 minutes Guisborough’s other striker Danny Earl latched on to a great through ball, rounded the keeper but then agonisingly saw his shot from an oblique angle cleared right off the line by Whickham full back Kyle Oliver, who needed treatment after colliding with the near post. Whenever Whickham tied to mount any meaningful attacks they were caught offside several times with the Guisborough defence maintaining a tight line at the back.

In the second half it was time for Whickham to take advantage of the strong wind at their backs and, although they pressed the Priorymen hard on occasions, they struggled to find a way through the disciplined Guisborough defence. On the few times they did get a sight at goal, Guisborough goalkeeper Jordan Nixon was in fine form and he thwarted former Guisborough striker Damien Stevens on more than one occasion.

Guisborough thought they had nicked the winner 10 minutes from time when substitute Mason McNeill, with his back to goal, got in a clever back-heeler but it was disallowed because a team-mate was adjudged to be standing offside. Although real quality was distinctly lacking due mainly to the arctic elements, the players from both sides deserve a lot of credit for a display of full-blooded commitment and effort throughout the entire 90 minutes.

After the game Guisborough Manager Gary Forster commented, “I thought this was a hard-earned point today in very blustery conditions. I thought that with a little bit more composure in front of goal we would have taken all three points as we had three or four good chances in addition to the Mason McNeill disallowed goal. That said, Whickham had chances of their own by Jordan Nixon made two great saves.

Tomorrow, Guisborough could not face a tougher task as they travel to Tyneside for the second weekend running to play runaway league leaders Dunston UTS, kick-off 3pm. The Priorymen know they will have to be at their absolute best to get any reward from this game.